part 2: Tracking life changes, one apartment at a time
continued from: https://hellohumanshow.com/2021/02/08/tracking-life-changes-one-apartment-at-a-time/
I missed a couple of spots! Or possibly a few: this ‘apartment memory’ thing is confusing when your memory is as unbothered as mine is. Somewhere along the way, I was living, I think, in a small place in the East Village, with a bunkbed and pretty much no space at all. And I had decided I wanted to be an audio engineer, music being as essential as breath to me at that time.
I went to a kind of adhoc engineering school run by a studio owned by a guy named Moogy. While I was hopeless at signal flow, I ended up falling in lust, and then love, with my instructure, the long lanky and delightful Tim. We moved into an amazing space (or was it his already? don’t remember) in Washington Heights. Tall ceilings, pretty good amount of space. Merge that with youngish love and it was sublime. Later, we moved to Park Slope, in Brooklyn, where we were loved by and loved two of the worlds most ineffeable cats, a Maine Coon named Langston Hughes and Tuxedo named Joyce Katchaturian.
We had this wobbly notion of getting married, sort of. Tim wasn’t super decisive, and I had had a sneaking suspicion that I just wasn’t someone who would be comfortable being married. Not that I was interested in any of the current sets of pairings that seem to be popular now. I just have severe hermit tendencies, and do best if I can spend the majority of my time alone.
Anyway, on the basis of this wobbly notion, we bought an apartment in Clinton Hills. it was a lovely place and a great neighborhood, near the food co-op, etc. But I still wasn’t settled, and neither was he. We gave up the space – to this day I’m not sure how the mortgage got handled. I was super neglectful of any of that stuff, and I’m grateful that Tim was such a mensch that there wasn’t negative fall out.
Here’s me on our bed with Joyce.
We had lost Langston in the awful way of probably him being poisoned-found his earthly body on the sidewalk after coming back from a movie or something. That was super awful. We lost Joyce a few years later – also bad news in every way. I decided to add no pets to my no kids inner mandate, and have never regretted either decision. It helps that my chosen family here in Tokyo have a dog I consider a part of the family, who I sometimes take care of, and who is willing to allow that I’m part of the pack. So doggie kisses are available – or will be when the pandemic…moves into history.
Lets see…at some point along the stretch, I had a lovely narrow brownstone apartment in Chelsea. One room after another. Not huge, but nice ceilings. I indulged my decorator gene and put up photos, my own art, found stuff…it was delightful! Not enough sun, though, Had some difficult family situations there. But overally, I think it’s my favorite place to look back on from a ‘I really made it my own’ point of view. Fresh flowers, great take out – there was an Indian restaurant that delivered and made delicious dinners. Interestingly, I didn’t create much there – not much writing or art. In the more constrained places, where I wasn’t on my own, I found time to write wretched poetry and song lyrics. Most of disappeared, thank goodness. But, I think the apartment itself was my art.
And that’s the last place I had before I loaded up 13 cartons, including a bicycle, and moved myself to Tokyo.
Oh! I forgot one more out of the timeline: the tiny space on 7th St in the East Village where I did some very ill-advised comestibles to distract from the pain of finding out that John Lennon was dead.
Here’s how I was the night after: